Each weekend a profile on a just-opened Oscar contender. Here's abstew on this weekend's new release, Bennett Miller's chilling FOXCATCHER, which won him Best Director at Cannes.
Channing Tatum as Mark Schultz in Foxcatcher
Born: Channing Matthew Tatum was born April 26, 1980 in Cullman, Alabama
The Role: Bennett Miller, the Academy Award nominated director of Capote (2005) and Moneyball (2011), takes on another film based on a true story. Tatum stars as wrestler and Olympic gold medalist Mark Schultz as he struggles to get by (surviving on ramen and taking $20 inspirational speech gigs) and to ultimately step out of the shadow of his older brother, fellow wrestler and gold medalist, Dave Schultz (Best Supporting Actor contender, Mark Ruffalo). Mark is soon contacted by an eccentric billionaire (Steve Carell playing John du Pont) that encourages Mark (and eventually Dave) to come to his estate near Valley Forge, named Foxcatcher, to train the athletes on his compound.
Tatum met with Miller years before the project got off the ground, but initially passed on the role then fearing he wasn't yet ready to tackle the dark places the character goes. Once the film was set to go into production, Tatum was ready for the challenge, transforming himself physically (he gained 20 pounds of muscle and trained as a wrestler) and emotionally (Tatum was so intense in one scene where Mark smashes his head in a mirror that he actually cut his own head and put a hole in the wall).